Updated: 5/4/2019 7:28:44 AM
Heavy rains and floods have destroyed crops and survivors of the latest storm have gone days without much to eat. Aid workers have said that victims in remote areas and small islands are still waiting for assistance and the weather is still hindering efforts to reach them. More rain is expected, which could cause additional flooding when the UN has said that hundreds of thousands are already without shelter, food and safe drinking water. Many of the children are without shelter or food. Some saw parents killed or disappeared in the flooding that followed the storms.
For the first time in recorded history, Mozambique has been hit by two cyclones in a single season. Kenneth made landfall just over a week ago, killing 41 people and now sparking a cholera outbreak. Last month Cyclone Idai struck central Mozambique, killing more than 600 people and leading to thousands of cases of cholera and malaria.
Officials who are pressed for estimates of the number of missing people don’t even try. Even the death toll, now above 700 in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, is called very preliminary. It may never be known.
Updated: 4/30/2019 11:44:22 AM
The number of known fatalities rose to 41in Mozambique on Monday as areas slowly began to assess damage from Cyclone Kenneth. Serious flooding has unfolded in recent days despite Kenneth rapidly losing wind intensity after making landfall. "The coastal city and the capital of Cabo Delgado Province, Pemba, has been inundated by more than 594 mm of rain by Kenneth, with the majority falling on Saturday and Sunday," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
Floodwaters were waist high in parts of Pemba for several days, and homes have collapsed amid the flooding in northern Mozambique. Nearly 700,000 people may have been impacted by the cyclone, the AP said, citing the country's disaster management agency. Many have been left exposed and hungry amid rising floodwaters.
Updated: 4/29/2019 9:23:08 AM
According to Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), 38 people have been killed by Cyclone Kenneth, while another 35,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. The storm lost strength, but torrential rain and high winds were still battering the area on Monday. As a result, flights have been grounded - hindering the aid effort. It is predicted the weather system will dump twice as much rainfall as Cyclone Idai when it struck last month, leaving more than 900 dead across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Already, Pemba, the regional capital of Cabo Delgado state, has experienced more than 2m of rain and flooding.
Updated: 4/29/2019 12:57:28 AM
More than 35 000 homes in parts of Cabo Delgado, where Tropical Cyclone "Kenneth" made landfall on April 25 as Category 4 hurricane equivalent, were partially or fully destroyed, officials said April 28, 2019. More than 160 000 have been affected, many of which are now exposed and hungry.
Government officials said aid workers tried to reach hard-hit areas outside Pemba but were forced to turn back after rivers burst their banks, flooding homes up to their roofs. Helicopters cannot fly and a number of flights were canceled, preventing humanitarian workers and aid to be delivered by air, the Associated Press reported.
It was reported earlier that an estimated 90% of homes on the tourist island of Ibo were destroyed. At least 5 people were killed in Mozambique and 3 in Comoros.
Updated: 4/27/2019 5:17:31 AM
"There is no record of two storms of such intensity striking Mozambique in the same season," the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said, labelling Kenneth an "unprecedented tropical cyclone." Climate change has made cyclones more damaging, as rising sea levels have increased the strength of storm surges, WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told AFP. According to WMO, the current cyclone season in the southwest Indian Ocean "has been exceptionally intense," including 15 storms and nine "intense cyclones."
Mozambique's Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) said more than 30 000 people were evacuated from areas expected to be hit by Kenneth. It said it prepared supplies ready to assist 140 000 people for 15 days. More than 747 000 people are at risk of flooding and landslides.
Before reaching Mozambique, Kenneth passed very close to Comoros Archipelago, causing extensive damage to houses and killing at least 3 people.
“It’s official: Cyclone Kenneth is now the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history in Mozambique - and in the entire African continent,” meteorologist Eric Holthaus claimed on Twitter.
“We’re always very cautious not pin one particular storm to climate change, but in terms of the pattern of Idai and now Kenneth, there’s this regional intensification of storms that we’re seeing quite clearly,” Jennifer Fitchett of the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa says. Cyclone Kenneth is unprecedented in several ways.
1. It is only the second Category 4 storm ever to strike Mozambique and together with Eline the strongest ever to hit mainland Africa,
2. it struck just six weeks after Idai. Mozambique has never been hit by two storms of Category 2 strength or higher in the same year since satellite records began,
3. Kenneth also intensified very rapidly, in less than 24 hours, making it even more dangerous. The day before Kenneth struck, people were still being told it would be just a Category 1 storm, says Fitchett. “People go to bed and wake up to disaster.”
Updated: 4/26/2019 10:17:12 AM
Three people are dead in northern Mozambique and three in Madagascar after Cyclone Kenneth made a historic landfall late on Thursday. Flooding rain will put more lives and property in peril through this weekend. Kenneth is the first tropical cyclone with the equivalent of hurricane strength to strike Mozambique's northern province of Cabo Delgado in last 60 years. The dangerous cyclone made landfall in Cabo Delgado, about 100 km north of Pemba, at the end of the day on Thursday, local time. Kenneth had 10-minute maximum sustained winds of 200 km/h, the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific oceans, as it moved onshore. Meteo France estimates a life-threatening storm surge of 3-5 meters occurred along the coast, just south of landfall.
Red Cross teams in northern Mozambique are reporting serious damage in towns and communities that endured were struck by Kenneth on Thursday night. About 90 percent of homes, which were mostly made of mud, may have been destroyed in the main village on Ibo Island, Mozambique. Ibo is located near where Kenneth barreled onshore. There are also reports of "extensive damage" to homes in Quissanga, according to the AP. Four ships sank offshore of Palma.
"This is a life-threatening situation as the hardest-hit areas can be put underwater," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski warned. "Those needing to be rescued may only be able to be reached by boat or helicopters."
Muidumbe, Mucojo, Nacaroa, Montepuez, Pemba and Nacala are among the communities facing flooding. All evacuation orders should be followed. Mudslides can be triggered and endanger those living on hillsides.
"Aside from storm damage, the greatest risk will immediately be from flooding due to heavy rains. Rivers within this region of Mozambique may flood, especially as at least one of the dams is already close to full capacity, preventing flood water from being retained. This will make it almost impossible to distribute aid as roads will become impassable," said Marc Nosbach, CARE Mozambique's country director.
Published Thursday, April 25, 2019
The Mozambique National Meteorology Institute (INAM) warned: “The severe tropical storm has intensified in the past few hours into a Category Four tropical cyclone. Heavy rains and winds of up to 140 kilometres per hour would follow."
The INGC said it would relocate rescue equipment, including boats and helicopters previously reserved in Sofala province for victims of Idai, to Cabo Delgado where Kenneth is expected.
The UN warned that the latest storm could trigger flash flooding and landslides in Mozambique’s far north and the government closed dozens of schools likely to be in the storm’s path.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was “watching the approaching tropical storm in northeastern Mozambique closely. This storm will hit the north and we are expecting that heavy rain will provoke flash floods and landslides impacting the northeastern provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula,” they said in a statement.
Cyclone Kenneth passed the Indian Ocean archipelago nation Comoros on Thursday but its effects, including high winds and heavy rains, were still being felt, the country’s Meteorological Office wrote on Facebook.
Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management said that about 682,500 people could be at risk from the storm in the northern Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces. About 112,000 people were in areas where winds could be in excess of 120 km per hour, it said.
Cyclone Kenneth Facts
Affected Area: 350 km.
Alert Level: Red